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Generally, a redundancy situation exists where the employer’s requirement for an employee to carry out work of a particular kind either ceases or diminishes. This might be because of closure of the whole business, closure of a particular workplace or simply a need to reduce headcount.
Redundancy is one of the potentially fair reasons in law for dismissing an employee. However, an employee (employed before 6 April 2012 with at least one year’s continuous service) may have a claim for unfair dismissal in one or more of the following situations :
- the redundancy situation was not genuine
- the employer did not carry out a fair selection process
- the employer did not consult abut the risk of redundancy
- the employer failed to properly consider alternative employment opportunities, or ways to avoid the redundancy
If you were employed after 6 April 2012, you will need to have worked for your employer for 2 years continuously before you have the right to claim that you have been unfairly dismissed.
There are some circumstances where you do not need one or two years' continuous employment to make a claim. For instance, selecting an employee for redundancy because of pregnancy or maternity, or because they are a member of a trade union, is automatically unfair. Selecting employees for redundancy on the basis of any of the protected characteristics (race, sex, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief or age) will also potentially give rise to a claim for discrimination.
If you have at least 2 full years’ continuous service with your employer, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. Check your contract of employment, because you may also be entitled to an enhanced redundancy payment.
If you have been made redundant, your employer will probably ask you to sign a Compromise Agreement. Read more
If you have been made redundant and think that your dismissal might be unfair and/or discriminatory, if you have not received the redundancy payment that you were expecting, or if your employer has presented you with a Compromise Agreement, please contact Judith Curran by email or telephone 01689 887872.
Remember, there are very strict time limits for making claims in the tribunal and these can be as short as 3 months, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.